Monday, January 31, 2011

Oak Display Doweling

Boof! Carcass all doweled up. I think we can all guess how that happened. What is a bit more interesting is doweling the little corner drawer pocket.

Here are the pieces to finial dimension and about where I want them. I made the same old doweling jig I always do but there is a little trickery in setting exactly where the doweling jig should be.

First I bored the dowel holes in the end grain joints. Order of operations doesn't especially matter what holes are drilled first as long as the jig is used accurately.
I used my drawer pocket vertical piece as a "template" to locate the dowel jig on the carcass vertical, nailed it and went to the drill press.

This is the bottom of the drawer pocket top. I cut a piece of Poplar to use as a template for horizontal distance from the side of the carcass.

Similarly, I set the same template up for the carcass side of the joint.

And there we have the dry-run after fitting dowels!

Decided to go on to the hanging brackets. I only plan to use two on this piece but as long as I'm changing blades and setting up jigs for one pair, I might as well make two. I probably would have made a third pair  but only had enough brass left for two plus a fifth bracket in case a mistake is made heh.
These brackets are a little different than the one I normally use. They need to be skinny to stay hidden behind the carcass sides without a back-panel to cover them up.
I figure even if this piece isn't a sales "hit" I really do like the form and may someday want one of my own ;).
Welp, I'll have an extra pair of hangers for a customer or myself heh.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walnut Desk Search

In my newly cluttered order of operations drafting/mocking and rough component milling of the Walnut desk come first. Put the "slab" I've had saved for the top of this desk up on my horses that happen to only be an inch or two higher than the desk will be and started looking at defining the top shape which will define the shape of the whole desk.
Pictured above, looking for/drawing the left end of the desk top.

Copying lines I put on the rough piece of Walnut I put the full-scale top "outline" on paper and started to "draft" the whole thing through a top view.
When I originally had the desire to build this desk I was hoping for a relatively simple project, but it's looking more complicated now. The drawers need a whole "separate" drawer-pocket structure within the main structure of the desk due to the curves. Also I'm very strapped for material once again so it looks like I will be veneering all the aprons and therefore the drawer-pocket vertical pieces as well. Not sure how I will construct the two side stretchers yet.

Back to the wood. As I mentioned, this nice wide plank I got for the top has a big old check in it. Fortunately the check is relatively straight. I built in a taper to my drawing allowing to take this check out with minimal waste. I was going to taper it anyway ha.

Here's the same plank cleaned up after ripping the check out, and ripping the initial two parts again to accommodate my small machines. 8" re-saw, 8" jointer... sigh.

Went looking for components in the other Walnut lumber I've had set aside for this project. The four chunks on top are for legs. These are kind of grossly over-sized but I wasn't going to get any more usable material from cutting closer and I've been worried about the stability of these planks once opened up. I'll just slowly whittle away at them while working on other things until it's time to really focus on this piece.
So, you'll probably not hear about this one for a little while.
Tomorrow it's on to the Oak Wall piece!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So the door of the Cherry Display Cabinet hasn't showed any sign of improving over the last couple days. I just took it out of the basement and brought it upstairs to see what would happen, probably nothing.
I'm looking at rough cutting more material tomorrow morning and moving on to another project while waiting for the wood to settle for AMPLE time.
I could really dive into the gallery website but think I'd go crazy just working on a computer all day so I need to move on to another woodworking project.

So, I'm looking to do the Oak "wall display" while waiting on another Cherry door.
I probably already mentioned the concept with this one but will re-tell a little. Looking to build something on spec perhaps a little more "gallery savvy". Small, simple, lower price, but with the same level of craftsmanship, visual interest, and personal touch.
It is also interesting because this is something that can be made with just one nice 8/4 plank. I had picked up a White Oak plank at the local commercial lumberyard one time I was there for something else. I didn't have any plans for this plank but knew I could use it sometime for something. It's not terribly rift-sawn but it was pretty straight and clean.

Problem I've had before with commercially sourced Oak was some crazy tension in the lumber. Pictured is some cupping towards the middle of the plank. I re-sawed the pieces way over-sized allowing for some of this.
Today I jointed and planed the pieces I re-sawed a week or two ago, still over-sized. I need to let them sit for some days more... Now what?

Well I've been planning to make a small desk out of Walnut after I would be done with the Oak wall piece. Might as well get a little into that.
Took out my metal smoother plane to do some scrubbing on some planks of Walnut I had set aside for this desk. The top is coming from a smallish wide plank. The legs, aprons, stretchers, and drawer fronts hopefully are coming from the plank on the horses and the other two pictured behind. I will be building a web-frame system out of Oak for the Oak sided drawers.
These planks are thick and have a number of knots so there will be a lot of waste and I feel like there is going to be tension and moisture issues. I want to get components out to settle for a good time. I think I will mock this piece up, and cut component stock before I get back to the Oak piece.

Ugh this multi-tasking kind of stuff isn't usually how I like to work. However in my circumstance it seems a more effective use of time.
Here's hoping I don't cut a Walnut drawer out of Oak hahah!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Up to Speed... or not?

Hasn't been THAT long since my last post, but it feels like a while.
Well with the new door parts ready to go, I could pick up a little momentum again.
Slip tenons for all corners of the door. This time the rails and styles are going to be flush, pictured here trying to achieve just that.

Using a similar set up to route the rebate for the angled glass in the door as the Maple Showcase. This time however the rails aren't curved so it moves a little faster :).

Fast forward the door glue-up, fitting, hinge installation, hanging, and edge work (ha) and here I'm fitting the sticks that will hold the glass in place. Three panes of flat glass.

Mullions, pieces separating the angled glass. on the way to fitting in the door frame with notches.

Got to mocking up door pulls. I imagine putting a pull on the side of the door and creating a notch out of the cabinet side for a hopefully pleasant detail of a pull :).

I don't tend to like to mock something up and make the real one the same day (unless it's something pretty common-place) so while I let the door pull stew I moved on the the back of the cabinet again... Oh yeah, I fit and glued the back panel in a little while ago ha.
Anywho, went on to making "mortises" for the French Cleat I will be using to hang this cabinet. I've seen people just screw their cleats to the back panel but I'm going with the same kind of "theory" as with the brass brackets I normally use. I want to screw the cleat into the sides of the cabinet which is a load-bearing component of the cabinet.
Quickly made a little 45 degree block to help chop a mating angled mortise for the cleat.

And there's the cleat in place. I need to get to a hardware store to pick up some appropriate screws... perhaps #3 3/4 hmm.
The bottom catch of the cleat, which will be mounted on the wall, has a fat 1/16" play horizontally to make life easier when hanging the cabinet.

And back to the door pull today. a pretty simple but pleasing form with a little flare on all sides which add a nice visual and tactile interest.
I was looking to start the notch in the cabinet side for the pull. so I hung the door as it would be to accurately mark where it will go when. I found that the door MOVED on me AGAIN! Gahhhh. When I fit and hung the door originally it wall all nice and planer. Now, the hinge side is fine, the top right corner of the door mates the cabinet as it did but the bottom corner now is a good 1/16" out of line WTF!!?? >:O ahhhh!!!
At the moment I don't really know what to do about it. Getting upset I just don't want to think about it and hope the door will correct itself, though I doubt it will happen :/.
I really don't want to have to remake this door AGAIN especially when I didn't screw it up :(.
Well I'm not going to be able to get in the shop tomorrow, well see how it looks when I get back to it. Here's hoping!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back Panel & Misc.

Welp, got to over sized milling for new door frame parts and worked on the back panel.
The "stage" of this cabinet is so close to the bottom That I really couldn't justify making a second sliver of a panel so I made a wide bottom frame member. This doesn't make for a nice slip-tenon though so I doweled the bottom and went for slip tenons at the top joints of the frame.

Here's a neat little trick. Learned this at IP but haven't made a floating panel big enough to justify using this technique till now. I put a little 1/8" dowel in the groove of the frame and a notch in the panel. The panel will be centered on these little "pins" and have room for seasonal movement on the sides. This means that even when moving the reveals on the sides of the panel will be equal. Keen!

Aaaand poof! glued up and getting finished.
There wasn't a large selection of decent AD Maple to choose from. What I got I thought was a bit flatter sawn then I would like. I took the best section out of the center of the plank and got some interesting composition in grain pattern and think it will be nice. A little less "liney" and a little more open for a very soft looking background which should do a display cabinet good :).

I've been whittling away at the door frame members but am now over cautious about them ha. Thus I've had much more down-time than I'm used to around the shop. Starting to get stir crazy I went ahead a rough milled some lumber for the next project I've had in my head. It will be relatively quick and straight forward.
With the goal of coming up with something more "Gallery savvy" I'm looking for something smallish, simple, and less time consuming all lending to a lower price without sacrificing craftsmanship or visual interest. I'm not even going to use curves in this one! :p
I remembered the last time I got into some Oak from the commercial supplier it had crazy tension and needed to mellow out. So I milled with plenty of margin and time for it to do its thing.
More on this one later...

In addition I took some time to look at some "web design" for the gallery. The website they have now desperately needs to be updated! Will, the director of the gallery, has been kind in hearing some ideas I've had about the show space. I thought he may be interested in allowing me to try my hand at the website.
Now, I've never claimed to be a graphic/web designer... Hell, I've never even claimed to be a furniture designer. There are still bugs to be thought about and worked out but here are a couple concept screen shots.
The pics aren't all too important at the moment just defining content space.

Some of the colors will change a bit I've sure. Screen size is something that may need reworking... I have a little wide screen monitor that frames these jpgs nicely but others are different soooo... I don't know, not there yet ha.
Anywho I think it would be nice to contribute more to the gallery, and hopefully the success of the gallery. Sure I'm spending my own time on these gallery things but it stretches my brain a bit, allows me to practice other "skills", and I just may learn something too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Set-backs... Grrrr

I already thought my recent work flow was choppy... Well, it got choppier.
Wood movement strikes again.
Above is a couple frame components for the back of the cabinet. The top one went a little wacky on me :/. Disappointing because it matched the bottom one so well. But hey it's not the end of the world. Milled a new piece let it settle over a couple days that I was working the part-time and got to joinery today.

Ok well since the band saw is set up with my "joinery blade" I can cut the slip tenons for the door...

... Or not. Movement strikes hard! >:/. I jointed the edges to get a better idea with what I was dealing with... Holy crap that's a lot of wind! I thought I took it easy on milling these parts! I let the wood settle for at least a day every time I cut them. Nothing seemed wrong 2.5 weeks ago.
The sides for the door also got a bit wonky... I can still use them being a little bit smaller than I wanted, or try milling new sides too, hmmm.

Well what can you do but carry on (and throw a tantrum)? Looking for a new door "crest rail". We'll see if I can find more door sides too...
I'm too aggravated to continue work in the shop today...
That and more trouble with technology and the print-shop... imagine that...